The recent announcement of the engagement of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall in a charmingly old-fashioned manner — with a post in the Births, Marriages, and Deaths section of Murdoch’s Times of London, has caused much discussion.
Initially cynics have been critical of Murdoch for being too old to re-marry and decrying the relationship as being “Beauty and the Beast”, or against the younger woman marrying a billionaire.
The fact that Ms Hall is a millionairess in her own right does not seem to have been taken into account. And of course that the result of the Beauty and the Beast scenario is that she falls in love with him despite his appearance.
His and Hall’s respective ages mean they likely won’t be having children; neither needs the financial security; religion doesn’t appear to be a factor. It’s not even especially hip. Murdoch is a newsman – hasn’t he heard that marriage is outdated?
Perhaps, like many who enter second and third (and fourth) marriages, he doesn’t care. After all, despite the growing scepticism about marriage as an institution, and the statistics showing that marriage rates are at a record low, there are benefits to getting married, and especially among older couples.
People are living longer, and married people even more so. Married couples also earn more money (not that Murdoch needs more), people in happy marriages are healthier, have more and better sex, and are richer than their unmarried counterparts. Research also shows that the more education and financial independence a woman has, the more likely she is to stay married, which means the fact that Hall doesn’t “need” Murdoch’s money bodes well for the marriage’s longevity.
Personally I wish them joy of each other and as much happiness as they can give each other.
We can all speculate on their reasons for choosing to marry but the famous quote from Samuel Johnson “second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience”. Just because a person has been married before does not mean that the next time the marriage is going to end acrimoniously.
The indications are that couples who chose to marry are more committed to the relationship than those who don’t bother and often a second marriage is proof that the first was successful dependant, of course on the reasons for its termination.
Love really is lovelier the second time around. Couples on their second marriage are happier and less likely to get divorced, a report claims. According to the Marriage Foundation, 45 per cent of marriages between first-timers are destined for the divorce courts. But just 31 per cent of second weddings will end in failure. And husbands who are tying the knot for the second time are more likely to find happiness.
And of course, people change. You probably don’t listen to the same music you did in your twenties or read the same books. May outside influences can affect a marriage and these days, divorce is no longer consider the taboo it was a generation or two ago. Many couples don’t ever marry but it is now a matter of personal choice rather than financial pressure or social convention that provides this freedom.
We would be very interested to hear your views on marriage and re-marriage.